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PRECIOUS-Gold near 3-wk low on strong equities, dollar; Fed signal awaited
May 3, 2017 / 1:03 AM / in 7 months

PRECIOUS-Gold near 3-wk low on strong equities, dollar; Fed signal awaited

    May 3 (Reuters) - Gold held on Wednesday near a three-week
low hit in the previous session on rising equities and a firmer
dollar as markets waited for cues on an U.S. interest rate hike
from the Federal Reserve later in the day.
    * Spot gold        was down 50 cents at $1,256.29 per ounce,
as of 0048 GMT. Bullion on Tuesday hit $1,251.37 per ounce, its
lowest since April 10.
    * U.S. gold futures         were little changed at $1,257.20
an ounce.
    * Stock markets inched higher on Wednesday and investors
awaited the outcome of a two-day U.S. Federal Reserve policy
meeting to be announced at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT).           
    * The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to hold interest
rates steady at its meeting this week as it pauses to parse more
economic data but may hint it is on track for an increase in
    * The market's so-called fear gauge, the VIX volatility
index       , fell to its lowest since 2007 on Monday. 
    * The U.S. dollar has been and will likely continue to be on
a gentle weakening pattern, Jeffrey Gundlach, chief executive at
DoubleLine Capital, said on an investor webcast late on Tuesday.
    * Sales of gold products by Australia's Perth Mint slumped
to the lowest monthly figure in five years in April as prices
remained steady despite strong fundamentals and simmering
geopolitical tensions, the company said on Tuesday.             
    * The European Central Bank bought more French and Italian
bonds than its own rules allow last month, which probably helped
keep financial markets calm in the tense run-up to the first
round of France's presidential vote.             
    *  Factories across much of Asia got off to a solid start in
the second quarter, buoyed by strong global demand, particularly
for hi-tech gadgets which are leading a sizzling rally in
    * Promising to cut pensions and give taxpayers fewer breaks,
Greece has paved the way for the disbursement of further rescue
funds from international lenders and possibly opened the door to
reworking its massive debt.             
    * European manufacturers began the second quarter at a brisk
pace, with the euro zone's factories increasing activity at the
fastest rate in six years and Britain's still benefiting from a
weak currency, surveys showed.             
    0800  Germany      Unemployment rate         Apr 
    0900  Euro zone    GDP flash                 Q1 
    0900  Euro zone    Producer prices           Mar 
    1215  U.S.         ADP national employment   Apr 
    1400  U.S.         ISM non-manufacturing PMI Apr 
    1800 Federal Reserve statement after two-day policy meeting 

 (Reporting By Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by
Richard Pullin)

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